Dog Bites San Diego
As a parent, you want your child to feel free to explore San Diego. They just want to run around and check out everything that they can; especially if it’s a dog. Children LOVE dogs. But not all dogs are friendly and/or tolerant of children. While a dog owner might say that your child provoked their animal, it is still the owner’s responsibility to keep control of their pet. That is because California is a “Strict Liability” state when it comes to dog bites. So what does that mean for you and your child? And what can you do from here?
California’s Dog Bite statute states that all Dog owners are responsible for any bite damage their animal causes to a victim in the following locations:
- Public Property
- Private Location the victim was legally invited to
If the victim is carrying out a legal duty (for example, mail delivery), than they are always lawfully welcomed on private property. If the victim was bitten by a Police or Military Canine that was active in their duty at the time of the incident or defending someone, you cannot sue for damages. If you were wrongfully bitten by a Police or Military Canine (for example, they mistook you to be a criminal), you can sue the city.
Beyond those specifics, nothing else matters. Unlike other states, a dog owner cannot claim that they did not know their dog would bite someone. Prior history has no bearing in determining if the dog’s owner is responsible for their dog’s behavior. The only damages a dog owner is ever responsible for is a dog bite. If the dog were to jump up and scratch your child’s eye (requiring surgery), you cannot sue for damages because the dog did not bite your child.
So what is considered a dog bite? It’s the physical act of a dog grabbing something by their teeth. Dog bites are not defined by skin-to-skin contact. They could pull someone by an article of clothing and it will still count as an injury produced by a dog bite.
So what can a person that has experienced a dog bite sue for? You can legally pursue the following damages:
- Medical Bills
- Lost Wages
- Out of Pocket Expenses
- Psychological Counseling
- Pain and Suffering
As long as you were not trespassing on private property, you can sue for any of the mentioned items above as long as it is related to the dog bite injury.
So how long do you have to file a dog bite lawsuit in San Diego? According to California’s Statute of Limitations, you have two years to get your case started. But with how expensive these medical bills are, I recommend that you look for a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You still have bills that need to be paid, and you cannot meet those needs if you are running your child back and forth for an injury that is not their fault.